Buffaloed is a comedy/light drama. There’s not a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, but it’s a fun story to watch unfold. As Peg’s business begins to take off, Wizz is threatened that he is no longer the monopoly and a mafia-like turf war begins. The rest of this film is this back-and-forth war as Peg’s resolve to stay above-board is tested with each passing day.
There’s one main reason you need to see Buffaloed, and it’s Zoey Deutch. I see hundreds of indie films each year and indie comedies are especially hard to pull off. While Buffaloed is light on laughs, it’s Deutch as Peg that is the real joy to watch. She creates a character that is unique, energetic, and thoughtfully developed. We’ve seen the hustler role before as a movie lead, but Deutch does more than give us the female version. Her original character was birthed in the opening moments. You understand why and how she became the hustler that she is and the person she becomes at the end makes sense based on her past.
“…does more than give us the female version. Her original character was birthed in the opening moments.”
Buffaloed does fall a little short of greatness as the underlying story follows the indie comedy path as it’s hard to take serious its wacky supporting characters and the seriousness of the story and Peg’s conflict with Wizz’s mob tactics.
The other issue I have is its approach to the debt collecting industry altogether. The end of the film offers up on title plates stats about debt collecting and how it affects Americans across the nations. It’s hard to be sympathetic to the fact that when we borrow money, we promise to pay it back. When we don’t, we invite the consequences, i.e., debt collectors. I’m also not sure that it’s all a scam as presented in the film or if anecdotal stories are used as inspiration.
So, suspend a little bit of your disbelief and enjoy an incredible performance by Zoey Deutch on a leisurely evening to unplug.
Buffaloed screened at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
"…when we borrow money, we promise to pay it back."